Awareness by Nancy

Have you ever driven somewhere and had the feeling you didn’t even know how you arrived? I have; it is almost like I was on auto-pilot and had no recollection of the trip. It reminds me of a clever little poem by Portia Nelson:

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

Chapter I
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

Chapter III
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

Chapter IV
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V
I walk down another street.

So what is it that keeps you and me unaware? Is it preoccupation, lack of caring, habit, ignorance? How conscious am I, are you, of the world we inhabit throughout the day? What might we block out of sight? Or what are we not awake to? Did you notice a stranger’s smile today? Did you see the stars in the sky last night? What color are your friend’s eyes? What else might we be missing along the journey?

Awareness is a subtle silent study. It is an ever-expanding exploration. It blossoms with our attention. It requires us to cultivate traits of respect, deceleration, openness, patience, being fully present.

If you were to choose one of these 5,
[respect, deceleration, openness, patience, being fully present]
which one could currently help you to expand your awareness the most?

I invite you to choose that one and practice it for a week. See what you discover that might be ordinarily unseen.

The book, Chocolate or Lunch: How Choices Impact Relationships, will help you answer many questions and embrace lasting happiness.

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